The common misconception most guys have is that yoga is for sissy’s and real men play rugby.
Well it’s not true. Yoga no longer remains the domain of women or guru types. It can quite happily be said, that real men do yoga.
Do you think the All Blacks are a bunch of sissy’s? I didn’t think so.
Believe it or not
No this is not Ripley’s, but it is true! The All blacks rugby team training schedule includes yoga poses as part of their regular routine.
The average South African boytjie might find this hard to comprehend, but yoga is actually a great complement for contact sport as it stretches and tones your muscles and keep you flexible.
It might be a stretch to picture tough-guy forwards like Brad Thorn, Tony Woodcock and Jerome Kaino, in tranquil, in gentle yoga poses when they are known for dishing out serious amounts of pain on the field. But believe it.
It’s been proven that the benefits of integrating yoga practice into regular training routines have been seen not only within the world of rugby, but across a number of other sporting disciplines which are not usually associated with the soft calm perception of yoga.
The Wellington Hurricanes and NSW Waratahs have specialist yoga instructors while teams such as Munster in Europe have been known to take ballet lessons to improve players’ balance and flexibility. Looks like the tough guys can be taught a lesson or two in the art of grace and poise.
Sydney-based yoga instructor Lyndsey Benn worked with the Hurricanes for a two-year period. She explained that while the players all eventually bought into the concept of yoga, it did take a little convincing.
“What I found was that sometimes there was a cultural divide between the forwards and the backs,” she said. “Instantly, the stretching and the range of movement that the back-line could see improved their game, particularly their kicking game.”
So whoever said yoga wasn’t a ‘workout’ may end up eating these guys’ rugby shorts. If international rugby players can do it, there’s no reason why the average guy on the street should shy away.
Besides helping to build strength and flexibility guys might just find it helps calm them down, and release some mental stress and tension. Possibly a good antidote for when testosterone levels creep too high. Woosa.